Sean Kanan Talks to About Camera Cafe! image

"Camera Cafe" cast. (courtesty of Sean Kanan)

Sean Kanan (CBS)

After squashing the rumors that he wouldn’t be reprising the role of Deacon Sharpe on B&B or crossing over to The Young and the Restless any time soon, contacted Sean Kanan to find out more about the new project he is working on, “Camera Café,” as well as to get his thoughts on a future return to Daytime.

An office comedy shot solely from the angle of a coffee machine, Sean's new web series has already been popularly adapted in several other countries and is backed by some heavy hitters, giving it a pretty good foundation. “Camera Café” also allows Sean to utilize his comedic skills, which is something he is thoroughly enjoying. “Camera Café” sounds like a fun project. How did you become involved with it?

Sean Kanan: It was actually an audition from my agents. I went on several auditions; I wasn’t really sure what it was other than knowing that it was a web project. I sort of had mixed feelings about that because I really didn’t know what I know now, which is so many people are getting involved with web projects. I know Jason Alexander’s doing one and a lot of really interesting actors are getting involved in them because the way that people are accessing media and content has changed. I think gone are the days that people are going to wait until 8 PM on Thursdays to watch the show they want. They want to watch it when they want to watch it and not just on TV, but they want to access it from handheld phones, iPhones, computers, etc. I thought that was kinda cool. And then I found out the show is being executive produced by Antonio Banderas, and David Salzman, who was Quincy Jones’ partner and produced “MADtv,” is a producer and some of the writers from “MADtv.” Once I read the script I fell in love with it. It was a fantastic character for me. What is your character like?

Sean: My character is a salesman in an office…the show is I think in thirty five countries and the set looks the same in every country. It’s shot from one camera, which is the point of view from a coffee machine, so it’s people going up to this coffee vending machine and having conversations, which for an actor is terrific because there’s no, it’s just one master shot so it’s very easy to shoot. My character is a guy that is way too tan and wears a gold chain and is constantly hitting on every woman in the office and everything is a sexual innuendo and he’s not really very bright, although he thinks he is, and he is pretty involved with going to strip clubs on his lunch hour and... So every woman’s nightmare basically.

Sean: Yeah, but here’s the thing I like about him, he’s not an a**hole. His saving grace is that he’s probably got a pretty decent heart underneath, he just covers it with a lot of sort of bravado and it makes everything really funny. I don’t often get the opportunity in TV to do a lot of comedic stuff and I’m hoping this is going to open a lot of stuff for me. I’ve done a number of sitcoms, but it’s always got to be somebody’s boyfriend or not getting the funny lines and really, this has been an opportunity for me to be the funny guy and I’m just so excited to do it. We did an initial 25 webisodes… They’re only a couple of minutes long. Is that correct?

Sean: They’re about three and a half minutes long and at the wrap party that we had, the producer announced that we were already picked up for another hundred, which is terrific. As I said, the show’s already a huge success in a number of European countries. I think Antonio Banderas must have seen it in Spain where it’s a big hit. Is it on TV in other countries?

Sean: I believe it is because in France, which is sort of where it started, the parent company that created it is French and they’ve done two feature length films based on “Camera Café.” There’s all sorts of crazy marketing and merchandising and stuff like that. It’s kind of a national phenomenon there and I have a lot of friends in Italy, from when I was working in Italy, and they’re really familiar with “Camera Café” and I’m just, it’s so much fun to do. I mean it makes soap operas look like they move at a snail’s pace compared to this. It’s like breakneck speed. It’s really, really fun and there’s actually another actress who was on Daytime, Danica Stewart (ex-Jessica, Passions)….She’s just a doll. I love working with her. Actually, she my boss on the show and I’m constantly flirting with her and the other woman in the office and it’s a lot of fun. And you’ve done a scene with Antonito Banderas as well?

Sean: I have not shot my scene with Antonio, but I will be. He’s going to definitely be involved in a couple of episodes I believe. Most of my scenes, it’s fairly ensemble. Eric Price, who was a regular on “Madtv” last season, he and I sort of play each other’s partners in crime and he’s just terrific to work with. It’s a lot of the creative team from “MADtv” involved. For me “Saturday Night Live” and “MADtv” are really traditionally two of the better sketch comedy shows.

During our phone conversation, Sean and I also discussed his other upcoming project: performing stand-up at the Friends with Benefits event on May 19. For more information on the benefit to raise money for the Jenese Center, read our article here.

As for Sean taking on the role of Deacon Sharpe again on either B&B or Y&R, Sean told me, “I would love to, that would be fantastic. It’s always been something I would like to do which is to reprise the role of Deacon, but right now I’m really focused on ‘Camera Café’ and you know, I don’t rule anything out, it’s always possible in the future, but that’s not really where my head is.”

Even though Sean isn’t making any immediate plans to return to soaps, he hopes Daytime fans will check out his new project. From the sounds of it, there will be many different ways and opportunities to catch the show. “It’s going to be carried initially by, which is the parent delivery system, but I know they are making all sorts of strategic alliances with Facebook and all sorts of other, I don’t necessarily want to say Starbucks, but things like that because it’s a coffee centric show. I guess what I’m getting at is it’s not going to simply be a function of people going to a domain name, an address to access it. The content of 'Camera Café' is going to be widely distributed through a number of portals,” he shared, but was quick to add that since he is not the most technologically savvy person, he didn’t really know all the logistics of it.

Needless to say, “Camera Café” will be widely accessible and sounds like a lot of fun! will keep you up to date on when (which should be roughly within a month) and where you can catch Sean in his new role as we receive the details. In the meantime, we wish him great success with “Camera Café” and all his other endeavors!

- Lori Wilson